by | 31 March, 2023

This is not a case of theft by corruption. This is a massive robbery of the taxpayers.

1 Oh, what an envious people we are. Now we’re bothered that the president, the prime minister, the ministers, the judges, the prosecutors, the mayors and all other elected officials will have increased salaries. Listen to them say: “We’re increasing our salaries for your own good. Otherwise, we’d have to steal. We’d have to ask for a bribe. We’d waste everyone’s time coming up with different combinations on how to take a greater share of each tender, instead of focusing all of our brain power on you or the state”.

They found the notebooks Nikola Gruevski forgot to take with him. They used the same old trick by VMRO. They found a lawyer, someone who was very concerned about the salaries of officials, and let him file a petition to the Constitutional Court. The constitutional judges urgently reviewed the petition. And – there’s no escaping the increased salaries. If that’s what the Constitutional Court has decided, then it’s the law. That’s what the law says and the law must be obeyed.

Apparently, they couldn’t make ends meet with such low salaries. You don’t say… Then why don’t they resign? They start private companies while they’re in power anyway, so let them get higher salaries there. If the state salary is not good enough for them, let them leave. We, as taxpayers, can pay only so much. If they want more – let them go to a private company, a company which will give them a higher salary. Any boss would be happy with employees like them. Professional, hardworking, honest.

Their logic is – low salaries, high corruption. According to that logic, it turns out that the textile workers are the most corrupt. And the pensioners with the lowest pensions should be locked up immediately.

They’ve reduced the tax policy to – let’s collect the money now and cover our salaries and everything we think we’re entitled to, cars, drivers, secretaries, advisers, lunches, dinners, and we’ll deal with the rest later. It’s the same case as when they talk about the EU and label anyone criticising them as anti-European – let Brussels give us money, let’s see how much we can steal, and we’ll deal with the rest later. Someone else will deal with the rest anyway.

This is not just theft by corruption. This is a massive robbery of the taxpayers.

2 We live as hostages of the parties and the state administration. How will they provide additional money for the officials and the administration? Have they cut down the number of clerks who are on a state salary? Have they cut the expenses? Have they increased the efficiency of the state administration? Have they saved any money? Have they cancelled any holiday, no matter if it is a religious, a national, or a religiously-state one? Just watch the administration bridge the days from Easter to Bayram, along with all the fasting periods and Ramadan dinners, plus it’s not ok to work after 12 on Fridays but we can’t complain because apparently it’s not politically correct, then 1 May, followed by Saints Cyril and Methodius’ Day, then All Souls’ Day, someone will use last year’s holiday, someone will use this year’s holiday… try if you can to get something done, to be issued a document, without them getting it wrong… There’s someone else to do the grunt work to provide their salary. In the meantime, they’re using the office computer, which we also pay for, to look for pre-summer holiday offers in Greece, complaining about how hard their job is and how low their salary is.

We’ll put the whole country in debt just so they can cater to their electorate. Who’ll pay off the loans? Will the officials pay off the debt with their increased salaries? Or perhaps the administration they buy for votes before every election? Yet again the private sector will pay off the debts of the state. The same private sector that the Government bullies at every turn.

However, the day will come when there’ll be no more money to give. Not only will there be no one to pay, but there’ll be no one to vote. They’ll be left only with the administration, so they’ll have to start taking from it as well.

Over here there are no strikes in private companies. The only ones going on strikes are the employees in the state administration. They’re the only ones who are complaining about everything and anything, the only ones whose salaries are low, the only ones who are constantly unhappy and dissatisfied. And the only ones who keep finding ways to pressure the government to raise their salary. Because they’re not part of the labour market. They’re part of the party market.

3 When Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski went to a supermarket to buy eggs and flour he boasted that he makes the best pancakes. Then, perhaps the citizen Dimitar Kovachevski should try to make a living from making pancakes. How many pancakes does he need to sell to make such a profit that would enable him to provide a higher salary to the prime minister in addition to earning his own salary?

At the same time, the citizen Kovachevski won’t be allowed to work on Sundays, because Prime Minister Kovachevski doesn’t permit it. At the same time, the citizen Kovachevski will have to raise the minimum salary of his employees, because Prime Minister Kovachevski will fine him. At the same time, although the citizen Kovachevski took a loan to raise the salary of his employees, he’s not allowed to raise the price of the pancakes, because Prime Minister Kovachevski froze it. And on top of that, the citizen Kovachevski will have to provide salaries for forty people from Prime Minister Kovachevski’s Office who make sure his visits to supermarkets go well.

Kovachevski is bragging about how good his pancakes are, while he’s the prime minister of a country which can’t fine two cafes in the centre of the capital for playing loud music. He explains to shoppers in the supermarket that the prices are high because of the war in Ukraine, while he’s the prime minister of a country where people find it completely normal to park their car in broad daylight on a main boulevard just by turning on the hazard lights and leave it there for a couple of hours while they’re gambling in a casino.  I believe not even the police in Kyiv would tolerate that.

4 Still, there is hope for this country after the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Public Prosecutor’s Office signed a Cooperation Protocol.  State Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Jovevski said: “Citizens expect us to cooperate and deliver efficient justice”. Maybe that’s the reason why they haven’t been successful in prosecuting organized crime and corruption so far. Oliver Spasovski and Ljubomir Jovevski didn’t have a protocol.

Not just any protocol, mind you, but the signatures of Spasovski and Jovevski also have international weight. A foreign factor was also involved. They signed it through the mediation of the OSCE. The Protocol was made by working groups and there’ll now be a separate commission to monitor the implementation of the Protocol.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office didn’t find the Law binding enough to prosecute crime together, so now they will be obligated by the Protocol to do so.

There’s one thing that’s certain, they’re incredibly good at having their photos taken. The Minister of Internal Affairs and the Public Prosecutor posing together to show they’ll start cooperating. One might think the representatives of Mars and Venus have agreed to save the Earth together.

Translated by Nikola Gjelincheski